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The mission of the Oceans Department is to Discover, Educate, and Innovate to support a Known, Sustainable, and Equitable Ocean. Faculty, postdocs, students and staff advance ocean research, education, and impact through interdisciplinary collaboration, technology development, use-inspired research, immersive education and training. To advance exploration and knowledge of our blue planet, and tackle the most pressing challenges in climate and sustainability, the Oceans Department brings together ocean science (including biological, physical, and social sciences), technology, and solutions into an academic unit focused on ocean discovery and solutions.

Students at Hopkins Marine Station exploring a tidepool

Degree programs

Undergraduate

Undergraduate students interested in studying the ocean first need to apply to Stanford University. Once at Stanford, students can pursue their interest in ocean research through either the department of Biology or Earth Systems.

Stanford undergraduate admissions

Biology Earth Systems

Graduate

We are still in the process of building a full Oceans curriculum and PhD program, therefore for the 2022-2023 PhD application season, the process will be run through existing programsOceans faculty will be recruiting students through Earth System Science. For those faculty appointed 50/50 in Biology and Oceans, they can recruit students via the Biology Department (CMOB or Eco/Evo track) or Earth System Science. For those appointed 50/50 in CEE and Oceans, the CEE application will be used. Given the complexity of admissions this cycle, it's imperative that you reach out to the individual faculty member you hope to work with regarding the appropriate application and track to choose. 

Earth System Science  Biology Civil and Environmental Engineering

Faculty

  • Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Professor of Marine Sciences, Professor of Oceans and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, of Oceans and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Victoria and Roger Sant Director, Earth Systems Program, Professor of Earth System Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Edward Ricketts Provostial Professor, Professor of Oceans, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Biology
  • Professor of Oceans, of Earth System Science, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy of Biology
  • Assistant Professor of Earth System Science and, by courtesy, of Oceans
  • John B. and Jean De Nault Professor of Marine Science at the Hopkins Marine Station, Emeritus
  • W.M. Keck Professor in the School of Earth Sciences, Professor of Oceans, of Earth System Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Professor of Earth System Science, of Oceans and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and of Oceans
  • Associate Professor of Oceans and, by courtesy, of Biology
  • Director, Change Leadership for Sustainability Program, William Alden Campbell and Martha Campbell Professor in the School of Engineering, Professor of Oceans and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • William and Eva Price Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Oceans
  • Silas H. Palmer Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor, by courtesy, of Oceans
  • David and Lucile Packard Professor of Marine Science, Professor of Oceans, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Biology
  • Obayashi Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Oceans
  • Jane and Marshall Steel Jr. Professor of Marine Sciences, Professor of Oceans and of Biology
  • Associate Professor at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, of Oceans, of Anthropology and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, by courtesy, of Oceans and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment

Oceans research at Stanford

Our faculty and students have many opportunities to engage in ocean research and work with our partners to improve the health of the oceans for the people who depend on them most. 

Hopkins Marine Station

Above the water, Hopkins Marine Station can be seen in the background. Underwater, divers move close to the surface

Many of our faculty work at Hopkins Marine Station where students and researchers come together to ask big questions, explore new ideas, and discover how and why things work.

Center for Ocean Solutions

We partner with the Center for Ocean Solutions, which catalyzes research, innovation and action to improve the health of the oceans for the people who depend on them most.